U of M scientist edits genes of livestock

A University of Minnesota scientist has developed a technique for editing the genes of livestock.

Scott Fahrenkrug tells Minnesota Public Radio he’s focusing in two areas — medical research and livestock. He says gene editing can create pigs with medical conditions similar to those humans suffer. On the other front, he says he’s already produced a living cow that has 10 percent to 50 percent more muscle mass than its ancestors. He’s also working to produce a cow without horns.

Fahrenkrug published his research earlier this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Texas A&M University livestock genetics professor Jim Womack says a hornless cow would be a big advancement for dairy and beef producers.

The work must meet government approval before it reaches the marketplace.